|Posted by Live Love Mom on December 8, 2014 at 7:35 AM|
by: Stephanie McEndree
It happens to all of us. Mothers across the globe get pregnant, labor, and give birth. Somewhere along this amazing journey of creating life, friends begin to fall away. It may be just one friend, it may be many, but they seem to lose interest. The speak to us less and less. They stop returning our phone calls. They de-friend us on social media, or stay only to ignore everything, even your birthday.
These are what I like to call fickle friends. In my opinion, true friends shouldn’t stop being your friend just because you had a baby, or are having a baby. In fact, ideally, they will come to your place so you don’t have to tote the baby far away from the limitless supply of diapers and wipes that you have in the comfort of your own home. If anything, a true friend would support you in your new milestone in your life and be happy to accompany you along the way. In turn, when those friends reach milestones of their own, you also support and accompany them through their path. However, not all friendships are as strong as others.
Why does this happen? No one can exactly pinpoint a single reason why. It depends on your friend. Here are the main reasons I have found that ex-friends have brought up of why they fell away.
Too many baby pictures is often the excuse of the childless, especially men. For those who are infertile, lost a child, or lost custody of their children; it can be painful to see all of those happy times they wish they could have. In this case, it is understandable. The solution? Offer them to just click the “unfollow” button on facebook so they won’t see your posts unless they specifically click on your profile to look. If they are willing to maintain the friendship but it’s too hard to be around your baby, have a girl’s night out with them once in a while. Are you a single mom and can’t afford, or don’t want, even a few hours away from your baby? That is perfectly fine. Let the friendship go.
Nothing left in common is often a reason why girl friends drop off the face of the planet. If your friends are single with no children, they may still want to do child-free things such as go to nice restaurants, go to movies, go out dancing, go to a bar, even travel. Often new mothers will have to say “sorry I can’t, I breastfeed and every time I pump the baby is hungry,” or “sorry I have to take care of the baby and I have no babysitter.” With these repeated reasons, your friend feels like you aren’t available anymore so they stop asking. Your lives have taken on completely different paths; and that’s okay. They may just be career-oriented, or more interested in partying. If the differences cause arguments and stress between the two of you, move on. There is no use in hanging on if it just causes negativity.
Money can be an issue when your friends want to go out somewhere that costs money, which is nearly everywhere nowadays. You can’t afford many luxuries since your last dollars went to diapers, clothes, food and maybe formula for your baby. Your friends want to go clothes shopping but you’re still losing the baby weight so you don’t want to go just yet. Your friends started going to the gym but you literally gave birth last week. Life goes on; if they can’t wait for you or won’t let you join in a little late, let them go. A solution? Make compromises. Check out free things to do that are nearby; wine-tasting, street music, street art show, and more!
Conflict of schedule can also be an issue. Maybe your friend works nights but your baby only has daycare during the day. Maybe you both work days but you want to spend every second with your kids after work. Maybe the only days your friend is available, you have those doctor’s appointments for the kids. It sucks, but it happens. What can help is if the grandparents insist on taking the kids for a day, then you can spend time with your friends. Maybe daddy wants to be alone with the baby, so you can do something as simple as going grocery shopping together with your friend. If you both work at it hard enough, there will always be a loophole. Even if it’s just a 5 minute skype call once a month or a short convo once in a while!
Those who use you will be upset that you are no longer available to cater to them. You won’t be there to buy them drinks, give them rides, or buy them dinner. They become resentful, and move on to the next person who can benefit them. In this case, you are better off without this friend. Let them go, and never look back.
Whatever the reason, think of your child. Is the friend someone you would want in your child’s life? Are they really good people, who are just unsure how to keep in touch and maintain the friendship? If you answered yes, you can do your best to maintain the friendship. If not, the friendship’s end will have been for the best.
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